June 26th, 1930, Ottawa, Ont. It was a sunny morning the day Biologist Walter Lewis was born! Little did his family know on that warm summer day just how successful their son would become...
When Walter turned 12, his father asked him what he wanted for his birthday and Walter told him that all he wanted was his own greenhouse. When he got one for his birthday, he began to grow various plants including roses. That next summer he began selling his roses in town and his love for botany grew more and more.
Life as an ethnobotanist!
Walter originally studied dentistry at Victoria College in Brittish Columbia as that was always his parent's dream. However, he would secretly take Botany courses on the side to keep up with his passion, but by his second year at college, he decided to drop dentistry as a whole and study courses strictly related to botany and biology!
Thank you for all that you do! You have changed the world of medicine!
After graduating, Walter became an ethnobotanist. This means he was studying plants through different cultures around the world, then using this information to create new and innovative medicines! It was through this job that he met his wife, and the two began there lifelong journey of travelling the world and learning about natural medicines derived from plants in the jungle
Nearly 75% of all drugs come directly from plants used and practised in folk medicine. Unfortunately, the tropical regions in which most of these plants grow are quickly being cut down, not to mention that these tribes and cultures are becoming more westernized and disregarding the remedies and ways of the forest. Because of this, the Lewis' have spent every day of their working lives trying to discover all natural medicines and learn the ways of the natives.
The Lewis' specialize in finding drugs made from plants used by native tribes throughout South America and other tropical areas around the world. Through their years of travelling, they have discovered thousands of medicinal plants and created dozens of useful medicines. Some of these include; a plant that treats malaria and a plant that treats hepatitis. They have even found a tree sap that heals deep wounds, cuts and scrapes 30% faster.